Archaeologists unearthed the ruins of a 5,000-year-old tomb on one of many Scottish Orkney Islands, Nationwide Museums Scotland mentioned in a press release Tuesday.
The “extremely uncommon” tomb, which is from the Neolithic period, was largely destroyed with out report in the nineteenth century, based on the museum. Solely 12 of such tombs have been found in Orkney. They’re thought-about “the head of Neolithic engineering in northern Britain,” the museum mentioned.
The tomb, unearthed after a three-week excavation, has a big stone chamber on the heart of a cairn, which is a human-made pile of stones normally raised as a marker for a burial mound. The stone chamber is surrounded by six smaller rooms.
Archaeologists found 14 articulated skeletons of males, girls and youngsters in one of many smaller aspect rooms, based on the museum. Different human stays and artifacts, together with pottery, stone instruments and a bone pin, have been additionally found.
“The preservation of so many human stays in one a part of the monument is superb, particularly for the reason that stone has been principally robbed for constructing materials,” Vicki Cummings, head of Cardiff College’s Faculty of Historical past, Archaeology and Faith, mentioned in a press release.
Cummings co-directed the excavation with Dr. Hugo Anderson-Whymark of Nationwide Museums Scotland.
The Holm tomb was buried beneath a pasture subject. It had been largely destroyed in the late 18th or early nineteenth century in order to provide a close-by farmhouse with constructing materials, based on the museum. In 1896, the farmer’s son got here throughout eight skeletons whereas digging in the ruins. His discovery was reported in The Orcadian, a newspaper.
The 1896 discovery prompted archeologists to go looking in the realm.
“Orkney is exceptionally wealthy in archaeology, however we by no means anticipated to discover a tomb of this measurement in such a small-scale excavation,” Anderson-Whymark mentioned. “It is unbelievable to assume this as soon as spectacular monument was almost misplaced with out report, however luckily simply sufficient stonework has survived for us to have the ability to perceive the dimensions, kind and building of this tomb.”